Upon first glance, the cover seems clear. The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Got it. Simple enough.
Open to the title page and the title has been rotated, now written vertically. Time for a second glance. Hmmm, you think. Vertical. Why's that? Ah, well. On to page one.
"Hi, how are you? I'm OK."
That's it. Page one. It's now, finally, with the third glance, that readers realize they've been looking at the main character all along. There he is, right there on page two, and yes indeed, he certainly is OK.
See? He wasn't lying. He's OK.
Which the main character goes on to explain. It's fun to try things even if you aren't great at them. You might even be just OK at them. This guy is OK at a lot of things. He's an OK skipper, an OK marshmallow roaster (ahh, crispy...), an OK kite flyer (look out for that tree!), and even an OK tug-of-war-er. He's an OK sharer, but...er, uh...you get the smaller half of the PB&J, OK?
In the end OK realizes that even if there are more lightning bugs outside the jar than inside, and even if your toes are the wettest part of your body when you go swimming, and even if there's a boot instead of a bass on the end of your fishing line, someday we all grow up to be excellent at something.
"I don't know what it is yet," he adds, "but I sure am having fun figuring it out."
We had a better-than-OK time with this book in fourth grade. Thanks to the reproducible activities on illustrator Tom Lichtenheld's website, this one especially, we shared our own OK abilities. Here's two examples. One belongs to a student, and one belongs to a grown-up. Or, quite possibly, someone (that'd be me) simply masquerading as a grown-up. Can you guess which is which?